Last Sunday was the first Sunday without football since September, and it was probably one of the most difficult things to endure for those 24 hours. I kept seeing tweets on my timeline from Patriot-based accounts saying, “Exactly one week ago…” featuring shots of Edelman’s catch, James White crossing the plane, Brady hoisting his fifth Lombardi Trophy… you get the picture.
However, one of the few things I enjoy that comes after the NFL season are the award shows that have the opportunity to take up the Sunday night primetime slots. And this previous Sunday happened to feature my most favorite: the 59th annual Grammy Awards on CBS.
This year was a very interesting year for music: the emergence of stream-only artists, the frequent push to express political stances, and the contest to see which song can make the loudest, most annoying electronic noise that people can tolerate (see examples: “Closer [feat. Halsey]” by The Chainsmokers, “Gold” by Kiiara, “Starving [feat. Zedd]” by Hailee Steinfeld & Grey, “Let Me Love You [feat. Justin Bieber]” by DJ Snake, etc.). Granted, these were good, highly popular songs that I do enjoy listening to, but these sounds can get to be too much after a while.
Either way, this past Sunday brought together some of the biggest names in music to celebrate the gift that affects our lives in so many ways; that which enlightens our senses and directs us into another world that only we can feel for ourselves. All the winners, nominees, performers, and presenters made the show one to remember. But there’s a lot to be said about the night, so here are the ups and downs of what this year’s Grammy Awards had to offer.
- Everything Adele Did
Adele opened up the show with a powerful performance of her hit song, “Hello.” How ironic. I love Adele; I think she’s got one of the greatest voices in music today and has undoubtedly shown how much emotion and love she puts into her work.
The way she paid tribute to the late, great George Michael was extremely elegant. The way she stopped during her performance to start the song over, not wanting to mess it up for him, was absolutely courageous. It takes guts to do something like that on live TV. Plus, it’s an awesome thing to hear her swear in her cliché, graceful cockney accent.
That was a definite up. But here’s a down…
Adele took home three major awards that night, including Album of the Year (25), Song of the Year, and Record of the Year (both for “Hello”). She beat out Beyoncé in all three of these categories. During her acceptance speech for AOTY, she took the time to thank Beyoncé who was sitting in the crowd. She renounced her win and stated that Beyoncé should’ve won for her nominated album, Lemonade. She even broke off a piece of the award to share with her.
Are you kidding me? You’re really going to kiss up to her like that? No. Don’t do that. As a matter of fact, screw that. This was your moment to revel in your achievement and be happy and you wasted it thanking someone who had nothing to do with your success. You have your production company, record label, managers, and accompanying musicians to thank for this. You did this with them and you should be proud of them and yourself. I don’t understand why everybody kisses up to this diva for ridiculous reasons. I don’t understand. But I’ll touch upon that later…
2. twenty one pilot’s Acceptance
twenty one pilots (there’s a reason why it’s typed like that) are a very unique band from Columbus, OH. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have accumulated a very specific type of fanbase with their musical themes that touch upon depression, struggle, and mental illness. Before accepting their award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song, “Stressed Out”, they took off their pants and took to the stage. What a funny story it played out to be as to why they did that…
It’s inspiring to many about how anybody can do anything. It’s possible if you surround yourself with good people. Sure, that whole bit was very different and strange to some, but that’s what makes twenty one pilots so great; they’re different, and the direction they’re taking music is interesting to say the least.
3. Ed Sheeran’s Performance
After being absent from the internet (and from the world for that matter) for eight months, Ed Sheeran finally emerged from what seemed like a time vault. He didn’t use his phone and traveled the world so that he could take some time to himself and write new music. Two new singles released on January 6th, 2017 to promote his upcoming album, ÷, set to be released in March. One of them, “Shape of You”, was performed Sunday night with Sheeran making the loops of the track during the intro of the song. He controlled the loops and other instruments on stage with pedals at his feet. He didn’t even use in-ear monitors to hear what he sounded like. It was captivating to see how talented he is and how much work he puts into his music.
4. Lukas Graham & Kelsea Ballerini Collab
Stop. That was awful. Who approved of this to go live? Don’t ever sing those two songs together ever again.
5. Beyoncé’s Performance
“Do you remember being born?” …What the f*ck do you think my answer to that question is? (special shoutout to Barstool Rundown)
I thought I was high while watching this performance, with the weird interpretive dance played in fast-motion in the beginning of it. Granted, it was somewhat of a solid performance based on the message she was trying to convey, being that it was about women’s empowerment. But she took forever to open her mouth to start singing; she took ten minutes.
Why do we choose to deify this person? Why is it that everything she does is a spectacle to people, especially her fans? Fans think she’s everything, a queen, a goddess, mother nature… no she’s not. She could’ve pooped on stage, and everybody would think it’s the greatest thing to ever happen. She’s a singer people; get it through your heads.
Also, why do we obsess over her being pregnant? Why does she keep ramming her pregnancy in our faces all over social media and to the world? WHO THE HELL CARES? She’s acting like she’s never been pregnant before. People are glamorizing the fact that a WOMAN is PREGNANT with CHILD/CHILDREN. Last time I checked, this is a natural occurrence that happens everyday. What makes her so different than any other mother that’s given birth? Hell, my mom gave birth to me. Let’s put her on a pedestal. And then do that for every single mother in the world. Beyoncé being pregnant is nothing special. Y’all need to chill and reevaluate your life to see how much time there’s been wasted obsessing over “the queen B.”
6. They Did Chance So Dirty
Chance The Rapper took home his fair share of hardware that night, winning Best New Artist (despite being around since 2012), Best Rap Album (Coloring Book), and Best Rap Performance (“No Problem”).
During his acceptances for both Best New Artist and Best Rap Album (in which he beat out both Kanye West and Drake), they started playing him out with the music, signaling for him to wrap up and get off the stage. That’s honestly so sad for an artist whose album was just the first streaming-only album ever to win a Grammy.
Chance doesn’t sell his music; he streams it across platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and other services like them. He makes all his money through tours and merchandise sales. He also is not under any record label; he is an independent artist. I guess, maybe, the music industry doesn’t like this. Music is meant to be bought according to them. For Chance to be doing something different and foreign to them is going against everything that they stand for.
Then why do so many people love him? I’ve seen him before and he is an amazing performer and puts on one hell of a show. What he’s doing is great, releasing his music for all of the world to hear and promoting his Christian beliefs through rap music in an appropriate way. He shows love for all and the world. He’s probably got one of the biggest hearts in the music industry, so for the Grammys to do that to him was saddening to me.
Oh yeah, and his performance later on that night was spectacular:
7. Botching Metallica & Lady Gaga’s Performance
This is especially heartbreaking to me.
First off, Laverne Cox,… learn how to read a f*cking teleprompter. You completely neglected to introduce one of the most iconic bands in history. You only announced Lady Gaga. Ridiculous.
When I first heard that Metallica was going to perform with Lady Gaga at the Grammys, I was a bit thrown off. I really didn’t know what to think with her being somewhat out of her element, but I kept my hopes high knowing that whatever she does performance-wise, she’d definitely bring it.
The song starts playing, which is Metallica’s “Moth Into Flame.” Fire is roaring, guitars are blaring, heads are whipping back and forth… yup, typical metal atmosphere. I love it.
Come time for Metallica frontman, James Hetfield, to start singing, his microphone isn’t working. Seriously? I can understand technical reasons, but with the direction music is going towards nowadays, it’s like they’re leaving bands like Metallica who write, and perform, and produce all their music on their own to be part of an alumni community. For a band to still be going strong from the 1980’s well into their 50’s, they could’ve gotten better treatment.
The performance cleaned up, however, with both artists finishing off the song in great fashion. All mics worked, Gaga stage-dived (which was awesome), and the world was given a performance of a lifetime with two icons at the helm.
8. Bruno Mars’ Tribute to Prince
Wow, this performance was great. I don’t even know a good way to put it.
Last April, the world lost a musical genius in Prince. Mr. Symbol left behind a legacy of how much music can create a movement. It was only right to have proper tribute for “His Royal Badness.” What a perfect part for Bruno Mars to play.
Bruno had already performed earlier in the night and was outstanding. However, this was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen him do live. With guitar in hand, he did Prince’s classic “Let’s Go Crazy,” and how could you not with that song?
Absolutely amazing. I didn’t know he was that skilled with the strings.